At Foodfacts.com we strive to educate consumers on choosing the healthiest foods for personal well-being. A huge concern among our followers always resorts back to high fructose corn syrup, with good reason. We’ve heard conflicting reports on this sweetener in the media both opposing and promoting this ingredient. Therefore, we would like to help clear some confusion regarding this additive.
Chemically, HFCS is very similar to table sugar. However, these two ingredients are processed very differently. High fructose corn syrup is originally derived from corn starch and then endures a lengthy process which basically blends together glucose and fructose. Unlike table sugar which naturally undergoes a chemical process to bond these two parts. Without human assistance; HFCS does not exist naturally. High fructose corn syrup is not squeezed out of a corn kernel.
So far, we’re not too sure of health implications of this sweetener. It was introduced in the 1960’s and brought into food production in the late 1970’s. However, the Corn Refiners Association assures consumers that HFCS is “safe in moderation”, “natural”, and has the same amount of calories as table sugar. It’s true, they are equal in calories, but claiming it’s “safe in moderation” hasn’t been evidenced just yet. Also, there’s nothing natural about the long process HFCS goes through.
Some adverse effects and symptoms that have been reported include weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which increases the risk of heart attack. Research is still being done on both opposing and supporting parties to justify these negative health effects.
Some organizations such as the American Heart Association and MayoClinic suggest keeping consumption of any artificial sweetener to under 100 calories per day. Some people choose to avoid them altogether, which may be a safe choice considering the lack of evidence supported by research.
Make sure to read labels very carefully and make educated choices!